Ribble Valley writer scores with fictional football tale

KICK-OFF Rovers fan David Alejandro Fearnhead

KICK-OFF Rovers fan David Alejandro Fearnhead

First published in Langho

A FREELANCE sports journalist has used his experiences of the beautiful game to write a book on the life of a modern footballer.

David Alejandro Fearnhead, 30, from Langho, has spent much of the last 17 years filming, writing about or commenting on football.

The former Ribblesdale High School pupil’s career has seen him go from working as a cameraman at his beloved Blackburn Rovers, where his mum Kathryn works as a secretary, to covering Olympic soccer in Australia and the fledgling football leagues of New Zealand.

His debut novel Bailey of the Saints tells the tale of a fictional player, Jack Bailey, who dreamed of being the next big thing in the Premiership.

Stuck with an unhappy WAG girlfriend and unwanted by his club he is 'loaned out' to a team in New Zealand, where he is forced to reassess his selfish ways and try and resurrect his career.

David, who studied media at Blackburn College, got the idea for his first novel after moving abroad to cover football in New Zealand.

He said: “I got the idea of taking a Premiership footballer, with arrogance and self-belief, and dumping him in New Zealand, where football is a minority sport.

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“Working over there I could see how wide the gulf was and I thought it could be a good background for a story.”

David secured a deal with Great Northern Books. His novel is now on sale, and it comes with endorsements from some of David’s famous friends, including Rovers stars past and present.

He said: “Graeme Souness was one of the first people I gave the early copy to.

"He read it and said he would be happy to support me.

"He said it was ‘a real page turner’.

"Robbie Savage and Paul Robinson praised it, Sam Allardyce has got a copy and Brett Emerton just took one before he went back home.”

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